I was eating lunch with an old friend the other day. We were swapping stories about our past and laughing at how we made it this far and how we ended up being the ‘creative’ people we are today. Later on, I thought back to our conversation and it really challenged me as to ‘why’ I do what I do.
If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest everyone get the book “Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. He demonstrates how everyone responds to others in light of FIVE love languages. They are: quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, physical touch, and words of affirmation. Those are pretty much self-explanatory.
So, what does that have to do with ‘why’ I do what I do? Well, I took a step back and asked myself if I really enjoyed graphic design. As the VP, Creative Director at Showcase Marketing, you would think I would be in love with design. But, it would surprise you to know that that’s really not what drives me. There is an underlying reason why I do what do.
Years ago I interned at a small college that offered several on-campus and correspondence classes. They were in need of someone to take the manuals and do a better job making them look professional. So, I bought a computer when I was 20 years old and did my best to help them out. I learned fast and people were amazed at what I could create on a computer. They constantly told others what a great job I had done and how creative I was.
You see, what drove me then (and still drives me!) is not so much a passion to create something new, but it fulfills my love language (words of affirmation). I realized that the ACT of creativity fulfills a NEED I have. If no one ever commented or affirmed me or my work would I still do what I do? The answer is, “probably not.” A good way to think about this is to imagine yourself doing the things you love doing…but imagine you doing it by yourself. If you’re a chef who loves to cook would you still love it if you were always locked in the kitchen and you never got to hear what others think about your food? Would you be fulfilled? The truth is, your love is not cooking. The ACT stimulates the NEED you have.
The reason some of you may have lost your passion for what you do in life or on your job is probably NOT because you lost love for that, but because at some point it stopped feeding the real reason you do what you do.
So, ask yourself, “Why do I do what I do?” If you’re honest with yourself, you probably will realize that a NEED you have drives the ACTS that you do. It might tell you a lot about yourself.
It might also cause you to rethink what you do.